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Comment Re:Bad advice to forgo the V6. (Score 1) 622

My BMW 2001 330ci (3.0l inline 6 RWD) got much better fuel economy than my 2004 VW 1.8t (inline 4 FWD) and I drove the BMW much harder than the VW and both were well maintained. The BMW seemed to give at least 2.0L/100KM better economy despite not having the turbo or wideband o2s of the VW.
The study was performed after numerous anecdotes of turbo vehicles not getting their claimed fuel economy.

While I understand there could be less weight in smaller turbocharged engine blocks, there is extra weight for the intercooler piping, turbo, possibly the pistons and crank (no need for forged internals on a NA engine) plus you have to cool the turbo and hotter burning combustion chamber which isn't free. Nor is the back-pressure helpful.
The 2001 passat 2.8l v6 was 1428 kg and the 1.8t 1451kg - the 2.8l was an aluminum block vs iron on the turbo. I get better highway economy with the V6 and got better shot trip/city fuel mileage with the 1.8t.
I thought the big benefit to a turbo engine is that you could add more fuel if needed and make more horse power with a smaller engine - I'm skeptical about magical efficiency claims

Comment Re: I think Blackberry should have stayed the cour (Score 1) 29

I'm sure it's great but how long do you expect it to get updates?

Did you own a playbook? It was great too. If I lost it I wouldn't even have to worry about my email leaking out because everything was on my tethered phone. It had flash and great multi-tasking. It COULD have run android apps similar to os 10.3 but Blackberry abandoned it. It's now a doorstop.

I liked my z10 and z30 also... it ran most android apps quite well. My z30 sucked when hooked up to bes because my it team didn't update bes and you couldn't copy and past from work space (email) into personal space (phone dialer) and occasionally it would crash the entire android run-time and all running apps after it ran out of memory. Recently BlackBerry has given up working with Facebook and turned off the native Facebook app pushing an update to remove the native app, the ability to upload photos and synchronize address books.

I was a loyal blackberry fan but I've been burned too many times. I will not own another blackberry product without an unlock-able boot loader. Especially not while the CEO states the company will get out of the phone business if they can't make money from it - Funny BlackBerry’s John Chen tops the list of Canadian top 100 earning CEOs at $89 million as he drives the company into the ground

Comment Re:Thinner and lighter is not always desirable... (Score 1) 209

Introduce a feature that prevents an apple device from becoming obsolete??? Doesn't that go against almost every design principal? I mean someone at Apple is probably printing off the original post right now as reinforcement as to why they should never make such design decisions again! They will compare the 2012 MacBook Pro to the 1994 Toyota Corolla

Comment Re:I would like a simpler electric car (Score 4, Informative) 243

Seems we have gone to great lengths to make sure odometer readings aren't tampered with, emissions parameters aren't modified and vehicles aren't "hot wired" - all problems which are unique to ICE and the reason your worried about failed electronics... you can't simply replace a cluster module anymore... or maybe even your light control module...

Well that and your "gas pedal" is controlled by electronics and just actually tells the DME your requested torque demand and it figures out how much it should advance the ignition timing, modify the injected fuel and how much air should be let in... and if you have a turbo the charge pressure... really the engine does nothing without the electronics now....

Even your automatic transmission now days is useless without it's module sanely telling it what to do...

In an electric car though, emissions isn't an issue and there is no complex computing of optimal air/fuel mixture/fuel pressure/temperature control/torque demand through multiple analog and digital inputs while constantly modifying the same outputs in some awkward feedback loop. There is not even a shitty fuel pump. Required electronics could be reduced to be torque demand + current speed -> motor control

Comment Re:I would like a simpler electric car (Score 1) 243

Thousands of moving parts is probably accurate on many cars.

Take your standard ZF automatic transmission alone for instance. There are solenoids bearings and rotating clutch packs which are all available from ZF directly as separate parts you can buy, a collection of seals are usually destroyed while getting to them. You can buy overhaul kits but even a proper fluid change usually involves replacing the filters and gaskets. The fluid is even a separate part number.
When a CV joint fails, mechanics often don't replace the whole thing but will replace the outer joint and boot. Especially the case with the $400+ hollow VW/Porsche drive shafts. The grease is a separate part as are the clamps that hold the boot. The manufacturer may also recommend replacement of a cotter pin, retaining nut or bolt too.
When you do a brake job, you can replace an entire caliper but often you can also get the slide pins and seals separate. This is a very attractive option for expensive multi-piston calipers. If you elect to buy new calipers your old calipers are usually brought back to the parts store where they are sent to a re-manufacturing facility which re-hones the piston shaft and replaces the seals.
A modern cylinder head will have multiple valves per cylinder and each valve usually has a valve spring, valve seal, retainers clips etc. If you don't do your timing belt you may find yourself replacing some of these parts along with the head gasket. In many VW engines with variable valve timing, there is an adjuster which has plastic guides that rub up against the cam chain and these seem to be wear items. This chain that connects the cam shaft and its tensioners are in addition to the timing belt and it's respective tensioner components. In the BMWs with VANOS variable valve timing there there are hydraulic pistons with sealing rings around them inside that you eventually need to replace, along with the gaskets because they eventually wear and no longer build the oil pressure required for controlling the VVT. Other BMWs have this cool system called Valvetronic which makes the intake valves have completely electronically variable lift such that the the throttle body under regular operating conditions is wide open and your gas pedal instead controls the intake valve lift. Sometimes this system fails. There are hundreds of moving parts in the head alone many of which can be ordered from the dealer parts counter individually not as part of the head assembly. To get at some of these engine parts you are sometimes replacing a few dozen torque to yield bolts and gaskets.
Most engines are water cooled and have a few dozen hoses, thermostat (or two), water-pump(or two, my V6 VW has an auxiliary electric water pump that failed), maybe an expansion tank that you would replace if it's a BMW - all standard maintenance to replace. When you re-add the coolant you might need to bleed the system - I've damaged a couple brass/plastic bleed screws before they are separate parts. Maybe a couple accessory belts are replaced at some service interval. They have tension mechanisms and idler pullies that are often replaced. The alternators and starters on most cars can also be rebuilt and there are even many shops who do them specifically - when you buy a new alternator from a part store they usually take back your old one and send it to a shop to refurbish - they have bearings and voltage regulators as separate parts. Many of the electrical systems on an ICE vehicle are supported by electro-mechanical relays. Perhaps your car has a secondary air injection pump for emissions which is controlled by such a relay - maybe evap purge pump in the fuel tank, the fuel pump itself etc. etc. etc.

Most of this cruft no longer exists in an electric car and there is no equivalent. Sure you can say a typical car has an engine, transmission and axels - but it's a gross over-simplification. Electric vehicles by contrast are actually currently radically simpler.

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